A Saudi cabinet meeting held this week concluded the kingdom’s budget would carry a 39 billion Saudi riyal ($10.39 billion) deficit for the fiscal year 2003. The budget is based on the typically conservative oil price projection of $17 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia’s 2003 budget is forecasted to include a SR170 billion revenues, counterbalanced by SR209 billion expenditures, the official news agency SPA reported. The world's top oil exporter produces 7.6 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) and oil revenues are thought to contribute over 75 percent of state’s revenues.
The 2003 deficit figure reflects an improvement over the current year’s projected deficit, initially estimated at SR45 billion. The 2002 budget was also based on a $17 per barrel price, while Saudi oil actually averaged $23 a barrel this year.
State income will therefore likely total SR214 billion in the current fiscal year 2002, which ends December 31, while expenditures will reach SR222.2 billion. Budget deficit will thus amount to only SR8.2, less than a fifth of the initially projected deficit. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )